As Ohio Purges Voter Rolls, Oregon is Going Other Direction

As Ohio Purges Voter Rolls, Oregon is Going Other Direction

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Ohio's method of removing names from its voter rolls does not violate federal law.

In Husted v. Randolph Institute, left-leaning groups challenged Ohio's procedure for removing people from its voter rolls under the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which was meant to increase voter registration and protect the integrity.

Justice Sotomayor, who joined with the liberal justices in dissenting and also wrote a separate dissenting opinion, spoke to that past as well.

The conservative majority's opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, revolved around a complicated interpretation of how the NVRA language interacted with another voting law later passed by Congress, the Help America Vote Act. "By working with the bipartisan county boards of election we can balance the responsibility to maintain accurate voter rolls while still being fair to all voters". But that can easily be remedied on or before Election Day.

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, the Democratic candidate for Ohio Secretary of State, said in a statement that she was "deeply disappointed in this ruling" and urged Husted to "act with restraint". "States and locales are charged today to take action utilizing modern tools and best practices to best serve resident citizens".

The litigation also marked one of several high-profile matters in which the Justice Department in the Trump administration sharply reversed course from its positions in the Obama era.

"You got to ask yourself, why doesn't the Left like efforts to clean up those voting rolls?"

The problem is that the Left has the resources to attack every single election integrity law or commonsense method and procedure for conducting elections. "And I think the inescapable conclusion is that they want to be able to steal elections, if necessary".

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The challengers, represented by liberal advocacy group Demos and the American Civil Liberties Union, sued Husted in 2016 to end the policy.

OH is one of six states that uses the so-called supplemental process - and the only one that begins sending letters to voters if they go just two years without voting. "This ruling is a setback for voting rights, but it is not a green light to engage in wholesale purges of eligible voters without notice".

Advocates of broader access to the ballot box called the ruling flawed.

Florida is one of those 38 states. Just last week, a federal judge in IN blocked the state's law clearing out voter rolls of those who are registered to vote out of state. If they don't respond and don't vote in the next two general elections, they are targeted for eventual removal from registration rolls, even if they haven't moved and remain eligible. As part of the lawsuit, a judge previous year ordered the state to count 7,515 ballots cast by people whose names had been removed from the voter rolls.

"There is no plausible reason why Congress would enact the provision that respondents envision."
"It does not", Alito said.

It also means that the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which was created to encourage greater participation in our democracy, has been significantly weakened. He also acknowledged the law bars removal of voters exclusively for failing to vote.

Earlier this year I was pondering whether Ohio's voter removal law was legal.

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